New York (AP) – There is no trace of Lagerkoller with Angelique Kerber in the New York US Open bubble.
“Of course everything is a bit different than usual, but I hope that I can stay in the bubble for a long time”, Kerber said on Wednesday after her victory in the second round in the German duel with Anna-Lena Friedsam. 6: 3, 7: 6 (8: 6) It was after 1:40 p.m. for the German number one, so she can certainly stay in Flushing Meadows until the weekend under strict hygiene and safety conditions.
This also applies to Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff. The German men’s duo marched into the third round almost simultaneously. While Struff had no issues with 6: 2, 6: 2, 7: 5 against the American Michael Mmoh and now that the world’s number one could meet Novak Djokovic from Serbia, Zverev had two and a half penalty hard against the 19-year-old American Brandon Nakashima. In the end, the German number one was victorious with 7: 5, 6: 7 (8:10), 6: 3, 6: 1. “It wasn’t as good as in the first game, but in the end I won, that counts,” said Zverev.
On Friday he will meet Adrian Mannarino from France or the American Jack Sock. For Kerber the battle for the eighth finals against the winner of the American game between Ann Li and the number 13 seeded Alison Riske.
Kerber was challenged in the second round against Friedsam, but was able to avoid the third set with great difficulty. But the 32-year-old was even happy that Friedsam put her to the test in the second game after the long Corona hiatus. “I think it’s important that I played two close matches to get match training and rhythm,” Kerber said.
Ex-pro and TV pundit Darren Cahill even brought Kerber to the extensive circle of favorites for the title. But Kerber didn’t want to hear about it. “It is still a long journey,” said the woman from Kiel.
The fact that she is now going to do this again with her new, old coach Torben Beltz is clearly good for her. “From the beginning there was confidence on the field again,” said Kerber from Beltz, with whom she won the Australian Open and the US Open in 2016. “Especially in this strange time, when you really only commute between the hotel and the complex, it is important to have people around you who you trust and with whom you have fun.”
For Kerber, for whom it is the 50th Grand Slam entry in New York, the US Open has always been a special tournament. In 2011 she broke through there with the semi-finals, in 2016 she won the title and became the first German since Steffi Graf to become number one in the world. “It’s always special to come back to a place like this,” said Kerber, for whom it was the third win in the third game with Friedsam.
After a sovereign first set Kerber had to fight hard in the second section. Friedsam grew bolder, but Kerber showed her old qualities and played very well in defense. It hadn’t been noticed that it was her first performance in New York since the Australian Open in January.
Kerber is the last remaining German in the women’s tournament. Tatjana Maria, Laura Siegemund and Tamara Korpatsch were eliminated in the first round. Julia Görges and Andrea Petkovic had decided not to travel to New York because of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, for the men, Zverev and Struff are still there. Zverev will especially have to improve if he really wants to play a role in the hot phase of the tournament. The second serve in particular let him down against the daring Nakashima. “I’ll have to work on that for the next few days,” admitted Zverev.